Saturday, September 11, 2010

Another Day in Afghanistan

I know that it is weird that I went so long without a post and now there are two in one week. Well, I am back to speak my mind.

First thing I want to talk about is the Pastor from Florida. I cannot believe that he was considering burning Qurans after knowing that doing so was going to put so many of us over here in danger. I am glad that he changed his mind, for whatever reason. There is one thing that I heard him say yesterday though that I have to agree with. Americans and Christians do not go killing people because they burn a bible or a US flag. I am not sure if that shows our lack of dedication, or we are more civilized. I will say that over all, I agree that Muslims are a peaceful people and that a handful of people ruin it for all the others. I know that as Americans it is hard to remember that after so many things negative have happened that were done in the name of Allah. I have worked with, and sat for hours and talked to Muslims. One that our ANA (Afghan National Army) counterpart stressed to me was that Muslims are peaceful people and it is a small number of people that are ruining it for the rest of them. We as Americans know how that is when it comes to racism and other sterotypes that we experience in our culture. For example, there are people that think that Soldiers are alcholic womanizers and are no good when it comes to relationships. I will not even go into the sterotyping of African-Americans. That would could get me yelled at or in trouble. We all have an opinion and are entitled to it, but we have to remember that all people are not bad if they are associated with a certain group or race. The Afghans that I work with and talk to on a daily basis are great people. They are dedicated and hard working. The dedication does not lay with the US though. I talked to a few and hard of others talking to Afghans that admitted that if the burning happens, then they would not know where they would side because they are so dedicated to their religion. Any religion that has people pray multiple times a day and there is nothing that will stop them, is something that I would take serious. I can see both sides, although I am not siding with either. I am siding with the safety of me and my brothers and sisters in the military.

I think that is enough on that for now. I can go on forever on that one. I want to complain about life here now. We had about 350 people on our FOB (Forward Operating Base) until last week. They sent about 80 more to live here for a months until they can move them to another location. That is not the bad part. The bad part is that we have limited number of computers to use and phones to use for MWR. Now, you add 80 more people to an already crowded situation, and it only gets worse. It is doable, but not fun. Now take all those people and add them to the line in the chow hall. It is already bad enough without having to add to that. But the worst, is the showers. We currently have 12 shower stalls on my side of the FOB, which is where about 70% of the people use. 12 shower stalls would work on a normal day, but are down to 6 usable showers. One building with 4 showers in it has been being renivated for over a month now. That means we cannot use it. Then there is the other building that has 4 shower stalls and only 2 work. As of this morning, we are looking at one of the two going down. You would think that some one would really make an effort to fix these issues. I am sure they are, but it is really causing a lot of mad soldiers when they have to wait 20 minutes to get a shower or there are 4 people trying to use one sink. I know this is bitching and I do not have the details, but I am sharing what is going on here.

Lets not forget the fact that we are out of space for people to live on our FOB and now we have to find space for even more Soldiers. The Army decided to send all these extras troops over here, and they have nowhere to but them. The situation in Bagram is even worse. I have heard stories of Soldiers having to find places on the floor to sleep when they are leaving for R&R and returning as well. A Soldier that returned a couple days ago informed me that she slept on the floor for 4 days. They want to up the forces here, but there was not enough planning to make it happen. Bagram has gotten insane. I am glad that I am on such a small FOB and do not have those worries.

I have complained about some things that Soldiers are complaining about all the time, but overall, this has been an easy deployment outside of the drama that I have to deal with in my office. There are some things that I do not agree with and would love to change, but I am not high enough on the totem poll to make that happen. Why make complaints to high command when it will come back down that I complained and then life only gets worse for me hear? I would rather keep my mouth shut, do my job, and hold my head high. There are some things that have happened to help keep my head high, although there are some things to make me hang my head. I do my best to do like my says and not let it show they get to me. I have found ways to vent and also found ways for my Soldiers to vent and it stays with me.

Lets jump to something else before I go on too much about that. Last night about 2am I woke up to my lips tingling and my body feeling very hot, and I was feeling really sick. I got a little worried and went to the JOC to sit so that I was around people in case I got bad or something. I was feeling bad enough that I was worried. I sat there for about 30 minutes and felt better. I went back to bed and woke up about 4am feeling the same way. I sat up in bed and waited until I felt better. I decided not to have them wake a medic to check on me, although now I know that could have been a huge mistake. I was talking to medic and found out that I was having an allergic reaction to the Amoxicillan I was given for a sinus infection. I also found out that it could have been very bad for me. So now I know that I cannot take penicilan for the rest of my life because it could possibly kill me. That is always great news when you are having a great day. I could go on about the way nothing with the convoy right today, but that will be another complaining session on here.

I am glad that there are people that are following the blog and I thank you. I am glad to have such a wonderful family.

I get to talk to Courtney some now and then, but not as much as I would like. I can't wait to get home and see her!!! She means the world to me and I have a year of spoiling to do in a short amount of time in Nov.

Thank you to everyone for the support and God bless you all. And to do not forget what happened 9 years ago today that has but so many of us over here for you!

Thanks again for all the support

SGT John L. Strader



Leeann said...

hey sweety love reading these since i havent gotten any emails lately.. keep ur head up and time will go by quickly


MOM said...

thank you so much for the info. there was a lot said in the 2 posts. we are getting ready for you to be here and possibly plan a couple surprises for you.
love you

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. All of us that follow your blog want to know that you're okay.

Thank you for your sacrifice on our behalf. Your little Courtney must be so proud of her soldier daddy!

Praying for your safety and all those serving with you.

Indiana Mom

MOM said...

Indiana Mom if you only knew how sweet his 6yr old daughter is. we live close to her and do not see her often but what a blessing when we are allowed to have her. she tells things that are so funny and some not so funny but we love her and she definetly misses her daddy.

John sure are ready for you to get here and so is Courtney. she posed for over 30 minutes and had me taking pics to send you. watch for them in the mail.
love you

Anonymous said...

Wish things could have been different.. Be safe..

Anonymous said...

Hope all continues to go well, Postal.


Anonymous said...

Haven't Heard much Hope all is well


B. Porter said...

Hey, you fellers still keep up with this blog?

MOM said...

it sure has been a long time since any posting have been done. it would be good to hear from someone on here.
have a great day in the USA